Kerala government unhappy over Italian Marine being allowed to leave

Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday expressed the state government’s displeasure and blamed the Centre after the Supreme Court cleared the decks for Italian Marine Salvatore Girone to leave India.

Girone, alongwith Sergeant Massimiliano Latorre, is accused of killing two Indian fishermen off Kerala’s coast in February 2012.

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Addressing reporters here in the state capital, Vijayan who assumed office on Wednesday said that they “have always been unhappy” with the way the case was handled by the Centre.

“We have made our position clear right from the time this incident occurred; things never went the way it should have gone. The Centre never pursued the case in the way it should have been taken up, and hence this has happened,” said Vijayan.

When the incident occurred the Oommen Chandy government was in office here, and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Manmohan Singh was at the helm of affairs in Delhi.

The then Left opposition here had used this case politically, and time and again mentioned about the Italian connection in the case and the “soft corner” the then central government had.

On Thursday, an apex court vacation bench of Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud modified the bail condition paving the way for Girone’s return to Italy on an application by the Italian government backed by India.

Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds.

Italy has invoked international arbitration on the issue of jurisdiction to try the two Italian marines.